When a product is no longer in demand by consumers or it is customer-returned merchandise, a retailer may choose to liquidate this inventory. Most often, the the retailer returns this inventory to the manufacturer or a reverse logistics processor. This inventory can then be scrapped, refurbished, sold off-price or sold to a closeout broker. This is often called the reverse-logistics industry because the product flows from the consumer through the retailer and back into wholesale, which is the reverse path of typical A-stock products.

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